The Edmond Sun

December 31, 2012

Earl Joseph Evans

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND —     Earl Joseph Evans II, of Edmond, Okla., passed away December 24, 2012. He was born November 11, 1955 in Port Arthur, Texas to Earl Sr. and Gertha L. Evans.

    Earl was a 1974 graduate of Port Arthur Lincoln High School. Evans, as a schoolboy senior at Lincoln, was the Texas High School Player of the Year in 1974, was a Parade All-America and was ranked as the second best player in the nation to Moses Malone. He was selected to play in national high school All-Star games in New York and Kentucky. Heavily recruited, the 6-8 Evans signed with the University of Southern California, was unhappy there and transferred to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. In two seasons covering 55 games for Jerry Tarkanian’s Runnin’ Rebels, Evans averaged 16.7 points per game. The Detroit Pistons drafted him as a “future” in the seventh round after his junior season, but he returned to UNLV and averaged 17.9 points in the 1978-79 season. One of his career highlights was outplaying future NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird in the Pizza Hut All-Star Classic after his senior season. Evans went on to play one season for a Detroit franchise that was in turmoil when he arrived. Dick Vitale, who would later become famous as an ESPN analyst, was the coach of the Pistons but was fired early in the season. Evans, slowed by injuries, averaged 4.4 points and 2.1 rebounds. It would be his only NBA season. Evans, who averaged 28.6 points and 19.5 rebounds per game his senior year at Lincoln, was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995.

    Over the years, basketball became a distant enjoyable memory for Earl. His life was filled with love, laughter and family. You could always expect a good time when Earl was around. He was the most genuine person anyone could ever meet. His spirit was felt by anyone who was fortunate enough to know him.

    Earl is preceded in death by his parents, along with his brothers, Robert Marks and Willie Evans.

    His lasting memories will be left with his family: brother Murray Evans of San Antonio, Texas; sisters, Rita Evans of Dallas, Rosie Dominic (Amaziah) of Edmond, and Mary Williams (Terry) of Arlington, Texas. He also leaves to mourn three nephews and six nieces.

    Services celebrating the life of Mr. Evans were 2 p.m. Saturday, December 29th at Crawford Family Funeral Service, Edmond.